Jesus didn't die for you, he died for us.

The Gospel creates unity and demands maturity

Posted on October 06, 2015

I generally don't hold much weight to the significance of coincidences. I don't think they are a great way to discern God's plan for your life or anything. But they do make me go 'hmm...' With mild curiosity sometimes. Like here for example:

Last Sunday I preached a very muddled sermon on Philippians chapter 1. The two points of my sermon were how the Gospel creates unity and demands maturity. Chapter 1 is littered with these two themes. So I said things like:

"Jesus didn't just die for you... He died for all of us, together... So when you bow the knee to him, you do it alongside baptists, Catholics, orthodox, Lutheran, etc."

"Paul wanted death, he preferred it to his tortured life in prison, isolated, alone and unfree... But he chose life, because it was better for the Church - not for himself, for the church..."

And on maturity I said:

"We, the Church, need to work on our head-knowledge. We need to learn to think differently. So that when we are faced with ‘prison’ or ‘death’ or whatever circumstances that overwhelm us… then we are equipped with the mental tools to process it correctly and know the right path to take. So that we can “approve of what is excellent” and make decisions that are pure and blameless before Jesus."

So that was that. But then the coincidence occurred. After not looking at my blog/news feed for a week the first post i read just happened to be about how the message of the cross in Paul's thinking, brings about community. It was exactly what I was saying, just from a different perspective (and better worded)

"The cross is not a private reality. The cross is public and political because it calls into being a visible community that enacts in its transformative social practices the gift given without any consideration of worldly measures of worth."

And the second post I read? Was about how Christians need to use their mind and to think correctly before they can act wisely. Exactly what I was saying, just better put.

"...We dare not be anti-intellectual. We put our minds to work seeking to know God’s will through God’s Word. We take seriously the Bible’s commendation of deep and critical thinking: the call to practice the discipline of discernment [Acts 17:11]

That is a curious coincidence. It's not miraculous, and it does not hold any lasting significance, except maybe to tell me I need to practise my sermon writing a little more. So I can say stuff better and more eloquenter.

The two posts were these below. Now go and read them!

Worldliness & the Social Scandal of the Cross

Faithful Christians are thinking Christians